Vulture-headed lions, fifteen feet high, prowled in hungry anticipation towards them, their feathered manes rustling as they approached.
The creatures of Matik were called vulture-lions in the AD&D Deities and Demigods entry under Melnibonéan Mythos. They were created from "the stuff of unformed madness" by the sorcerer Matik.
Jeff Dee's illustration of the vulture-lion shows what is essentially a lion with a vulture's beak. Moorcock's description in the novel, suggests that the creatures had feathered manes and tails.
To represent these creatures, I always thought that the Scauweg from SLAP Miniatures were spot-on. I finally decided to place an order for them, and after a long wait, I've finally received the miniatures.
Unlike the miniature shown on the SLAP website, the Scauweg 1 model that I received looks like it is in a crouching/pouncing pose. I believe it was probably crushed during shipment, but the end result doesn't look bad.
The Scauweg scale out to about 9.5' to 10' at the shoulder in 1/72 scale, rather than the 15' described in the novels, but I think that these hefty models still make for impressively sized monsters.
On the SLAP website, the Scauweg are painted with red colored heads like turkey vultures, and I'm a bit curious if that is what comes to mind when people in the UK think of vultures.
In any event, I'm going to paint them like Cape vultures or white-backed vultures from Africa as opposed to a North American bird.